A wet week in Washington area comes to a sunny and dry end

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wednesday was a great American travel day, Thursday was Thanksgiving, Friday was Black Friday, but Saturday was just a normal November day. Judging by the temperature, that is.

The high in Washington was 52 degrees, one degree below the normal high for Nov. 28.

It was breezy with a peak wind of 25 mph measured at Reagan National Airport, and a 33 mph gust encouraged people to clutch their caps.

But Saturday was also filled with enough slanting sunshine to permit bare-limbed trees to cast long shadows and require a lot of squinting on the part of pedestrians.

The low temperature in the morning was 40 degrees, compared with the normal low of 37. And the day's average, as the National Weather Service figured it, was 46 degrees, one degree above the day's normal average of 45.

Although the temperature was close to the norm, in one meteorological sense Saturday differed sharply from its five predecessors. It was dry. No rain was measured at National. Not a trace.

This contrasted with Monday, when more than half an inch fell; Tuesday, with precipitation measured at almost a third of an inch; and Wednesday, on which almost a fifth of an inch of rain was measured.

It also marked a departure from Thanksgiving, when a late day shower pelted down as many people were finishing the last of the pumpkin pie. And from Friday, when three-tenths of an inch of rain made some shoppers quicken their steps to and from the parking lot.

The week's 1.22 inches of rain brought the year's rainfall total to 39.93 inches.

It means that if not another drop falls for the rest of the year, Washington has received more than its usual quota of moisture. According to Weather Service figures, Washington's normal annual precipitation is 39.35 inches.

Forecasts call for Sunday, another major day for going to and from, to be pleasant for staying in Washington, too. The Weather Service expects highs in the lower 60s. According to various predictions, it could be the warmest day for quite some time.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company